A-T-C-A (Alpine- Tire Mountain- Cloverpatch- Alpine)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Jun 16, 2017.



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  1. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Last September we delivered the oldest offspring to the University of Oregon for his freshman year. I had the chance to ride for one day, and I chose the Alpine Trail in Oakridge. Link to original ride below:

    http://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/alpine-trail-oakridge-oregon.5131/#post-65349

    When the wife and I started looking at hotel rooms in Eugene for June, the going rates were $500 and up per night. WTF? I guess that NCAA track and field thing really is a big deal. :D So my wife says, "What about that little town where you rode? We could stay there a couple days and you could get a ride in... The rooms are dirt cheap over there... And then we can move to Eugene after the track meet ends." There really wasn't much arm twisting to get me back to Oakridge. I would have gone for the diner alone. :thumbsup:

    So... I started looking at routes. Another Alpine run would have been fine, and I really considered that. I was the first one at the shuttle in the morning, after my 1 mile pedal from the Best Western. The guys said that they couldn't make it to the normal drop-off at Kate's Cut-in, because it was still snowed in. Sunday, June 11, 2017. Snowed in. :confused: The drop-off point would be just below the Jedi Meadow, which I rode through in September, and would make the vanilla Alpine run about 12 miles total. Uh no... I need something a little longer. :thumbsup:

    In preparation, I had a paper map of the trails in Oakridge, as well as several routes loaded into the Garmin. In September the Garmin was pretty useless, though, so I also downloaded all the local trails into the MTB Project App on the phone. This is a lifesaver... Topo and trails for the entire area and no cell signal required. Thankfully, GPS works just fine with no cell service, and I was able to follow my blue dot all day without issue. :thumbsup:


    Zoomed out satellite view of A-T-C-A (Alpine- Tire Mountain- Cloverpatch- Alpine)
    IMG_0362.PNG



    In September I was the only one on the shuttle, and pretty much the only one on the mountain. Today, however, there were two shuttle vans, with 18 bikes. There were Bronsons and Yetis galore, and even a token S-Works Enduro. The Highball was the only one without rear suspension, and the gearing was a bit of a curiosity to everyone gathered. I'll be honest... It was a little intimidating being with all the big bikes and guys dressed like stormtroopers. :D

    Being the first one at the shuttle meant that I was the last one unloaded when we got up top. I watched as all of the stormtroopers geared up and headed off.

    The Garmin said 34, and it was raining pretty steadily. I'm learning that you don't wait for dry sunny days in Oregon... I started the day with the Showers Pass coat and never rook it off... About 1/2 way through I switched to heavier gloves.

    The start... Just below Jedi Meadow
    IMG_0185.jpg


    Alpine Trail is a true single track, but it is not a pure downhill run. There is a lot of up and down along the way... Similar to a Palm Canyon, where 3000 feet feels like 6000 feet.

    With the route I chose, however, I would only be on Alpine for about 3 miles before making the turn onto the Tire Mountain Trail. In that first 3 miles, however, I passed just about all of the big bikes, thanks to the uphills. And I never saw them again... They all opted for the 12 mile run down Alpine. o_O

    At mile 3, I made a hard right onto the Tire Mountain Trail, which does not see as much shuttle traffic. The trail, itself, is probably more fun than Alpine, but it adds a lot of climbing to the overall route. Tire Mountain has the same rocks, roots, and overgrowth as Alpine, but it is a little more rugged. And today, it was muddy and slippery as wet snot. :p It was also a little spooky, as visibility in the forest sometimes dropped to 50 feet, and I was the only one on this side of the mountain. I could have easily used a light at times...

    A Tire Mountain clearing... not far from the turnoff
    IMG_0193.jpg

    Wow.
    IMG_0198.jpg

    One of several bridges on the Tire Mountain Trail...
    IMG_0212.jpg

    One of many waterfalls...
    IMG_0222.jpg

    At mile 5 I hit my first long sustained downhill of the day... A little over 1200 feet lost in 3.5 miles. Rocks, roots, drops, mud, switchbacks, fast banked turns... You name it, it's there. And today with 50 feet of visibility! :thumbsup: It's going to be hard riding in SoCal after this. The downhill is interrupted by a .75 mile long climb, but then resumes for another 3 mile (mostly) downhill with another 1200 feet of loss! :thumbsup:

    And then the party ends. Cloverpatch Trail sucked. I'm not sure exactly at what point I turned onto the Cloverpatch Trail, but half of the trail is an overgrown logging road that is pretty steep. It regains all of the elevation that was lost on the awesome Tire Mountain downhills, and gets back up to elevation before rejoining Alpine Trail. The scenery is still awesome, but the climb is a grind!

    There are also several forks on the trail that are not clearly marked. The MTB Project app saved my butt a few times. Without the app, I would have taken a wrong fork and ended up in Lowell. Zoom in on the route, see my current position, and it's plain as day. :thumbsup: I never needed to pull the paper map out of the backpack.

    Halfway (?) up Cloverpatch it turns back into single track, but the climbing doesn't end. It switchbacks up the side of the mountain for a couple more miles. It was on the climbing switchbacks that I had my only animal encounter of the day... About 50 yards away on the uphill side the trail, I heard the shuffling and the sound of breaking branches. I turned and saw a large dark shape moving farther uphill for a split second... And I have no idea what it was, but it was big! I made a lot of noise, got back on the bike, and found my second wind to finish the climb! :whistling:

    At mile 16.5 ish Cloverpatch rejoins the Alpine Trail, for the last 5 mile run (mostly) downhill to the finish. This last section changes tone, and is more rocky than the other sections. It reminds me of a very fast Motorway... Long sections of loose rock and as much speed as you are comfortable carrying.

    Shelter... stocked with newspapers and a fire pit...
    IMG_0229.jpg

    Lower Alpine...
    IMG_0234.jpg

    Lower Alpine Green!
    IMG_0241.jpg

    The covered bridge is the finish line. I don't want to be done! :thumbsdown:
    IMG_0246.jpg

    ATCA.jpg

    My day ended with lunch at the local diner, Stewarts 58 drive-in. I said it last time, and I'll repeat. The owner is a genius. All of her food is "diner food", but with her own flair, and everything is homemade. No "potatoes from a box" here.

    Not my image... Right across the street from the Best Western at the western edge of town
    page-photo-578615.jpg

    https://www.relive.cc/view/1032404604

    Awesome awesome day. :thumbsup:
     
    Mikie, Redman, doublewide and 19 others like this.
  2. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Nice adventure report!

    Now, back to the dry, dusty, heat of So Cal...
     
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    I'm going to ride tomorrow, but I'm not looking forward to the heat! :gag:
     
  4. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    I want to go back. Damn You, Picture Slot Machine! :p
     
  5. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    But it's green for a reason....the rain never ends. :laugh:
     
    Mikie and Faust29 like this.
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    One of my best days ever on a bike... :inlove:
     
    Mikie likes this.
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